We want everyone to SEE the "confession" that was used to send a 14 year old boy to prison for life.
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There are many aspects of this case that point to Davontae being actually innocent. Not least among these are that the real murderer, a professional hit man who is now in jail for the rest of his life, has confessed to having committed the murders Davontae is serving time for. He says he has never seen Davontae.
While on the surface it may seem ludicrous, there are many reasons for a person to make a false confession. (For a more in depth study, clickhere.) One fact discovered by the National Registry of Exonerees, is that 16% or 1 our of every 6 wrongful convictions involve false confessions. However, if you are a youth, your chances are 5 times the average that you will make a false confession. If you are mentally challenged, your chances are 9 times more likely. Davontae is both.
We have two portions of the interrogation supplied to us by the State Appellate Defenders Office (SADO). We show the first clip so that you can see Davontae's face and the carefree, pleasant disposition he is in at the time. This is not the kind of look one would expect if he had any idea how much trouble he was in.
The second clip begins when the detective starts reading through Davontae's "confession" that they have written out for him. This takes place some 20 hours after Davontae had been "invited" by the police to hang out down at the station and tell them what he knows. What was not video taped was the countless number of hours Davontae spent playing video games and loving the attention shown to him at the police station. During this time, Davontae picked up a lot of information the police fed to him. His signed confession only contained details the police already knew. Now, they want to finalize the "confession", which they use as evidence that he admitted to the murders. During all this time, he has never had a lawyer and his mother, Taminko, never knew he was a suspect. Do you know how easy it is to get a youth to waive his rights just by saying "trust me"? The demeanor of the detective comes across more like an English teacher going through a student's draft, helping him to correct the grammar. Understanding Davontae's age and mental challenges, see for yourself if this sounds like the "confession" is really coming from him and reliable enough to put a young boy away for 37 to 60 years.
( Note: the sound may make understanding all the words difficult at first. It gets easier as it goes along. Also, headphones are helpful and it is often easier to understand if the volume is turned down, rather than up.)
A Minute before the Taping
Just one minute before the detective comes in to go over his "confession", Davontae checks out the camera. He smiles like he thinks the camera is "cool". He does not appear to have any comprehension that he is in trouble.
Going Over Davontae's "Confession"
Davontae was a mentally challenged 14 year old who thought the police were his friends. The demeanor of the detective gives the impression he is an English teacher going over the grammar of an assignment. Davontae has no idea he is closing the door on his life.